6 Qualities of Good TV Directors

The media industry is filled with people who believe that they are Directors; forget that they could not determine the difference between Television and Film direction if their lives depended on it. This growing philosophy is birthed out of two current phenomena sweeping the production industry: The rate of the increase in technological advancements and the recent success of “home grown” moviemakers.

Like the great Pyramids the Director is larger than life it seems as he/she sits atop the chain of command during the actual production (filming or taping) of the presentation. The Director is responsible for the visualization of the TV program or Film, selecting the various camera angles and compositions. Beyond the general definition, however, the nature of the director’s job, and the relative importance of the director’s creative contribution to the finished product, varies greatly from project to project.

However, either in TV or Film the Director is the leader that can take the plans and build the project. The Director is the person that has taken or been given the responsibility to get the job done.

Director…the title brings images of scowling, temperamental individuals wearing berets, hats backwards, and wielding a tremendous amount of power.  They tend to strike fear into all who work for them.  Well, not quite true. Most good directors while they have incredible personalities are just the opposite and possess many positive qualities.

The Qualities of good TV Directors

1.Humility. A huge ego will kill any production. Any visit to a production set of some of the tops directors today will demonstrate how great directors (like Ridley Scott) can and do walk in humility.  Humility brings a peace and calm over the production. It sets the tone for every one to follow.

2. Artistic Comprehension: A good director will have a good artistic eye for color and composition, a good ear for music, special effects and audio. A good director will also understand lighting and the true values that it can add or detract to any production.

3. Timing: A good director will have a good sense of timing. The timing will control whether or not cuts or dissolves are used, the lengths of scenes, the type of shots that are used, the pause lengths, etc. Timing is the intangible element that is hard to put your hand on, but you’ll know when you don’t like it.

4. Relational: A good director should work well with the crew; get along with the talent and the client. They must be able to manage multiple relationships at the same time and resolve conflicts.

5. Communication: A good director must possess strong communication skills. If the director cannot be understood, the production team will not be able to fulfill the production design. The director may have a brilliant idea in mind but if they cannot communicate clearly it is all for naught.

6. Respect. A good director should command respect.  Not just because he is an authority figure, but because he knows his job well,

A good director will make or break your production. Take the time to hire the right person. Speak to the references; don’t get blown over and be super impressed by an incredible resume reel. Look for the qualities above and you won’t go wrong.

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